The Art Of Survival: France And The Great War Picaresque

Hardcover | September 13, 2016

byLibby Murphy

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An astute literary and cultural history of World War I in France that offers a fresh perspective on the popular culture of the Great War

The First World War soldier has often been depicted as a helpless victim sacrificed by a ruthless society in the trenches of the Western Front. In fact, Libby Murphy reveals, French soldiers drew upon a long-standing European tradition to imagine themselves not as heroes or victims but as survivors. Murphy investigates how infantrymen and civilians attempted to make sense of the war while it was still in progress by reviving the picaresque, a literary mode in which unheroic protagonists are forced to fend for themselves in a chaotic and hostile world. By examining works by French and European novelists, journalists, graphic artists, cultural critics, and filmmakers—including Charlie Chaplin—Libby Murphy shows how the rich tradition of the European picaresque was uniquely appropriate for expressing anxieties provoked by modern, industrialized warfare.

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An astute literary and cultural history of World War I in France that offers a fresh perspective on the popular culture of the Great War The First World War soldier has often been depicted as a helpless victim sacrificed by a ruthless society in the trenches of the Western Front. In fact, Libby Murphy reveals, French soldiers drew upon...

Libby Murphy is associate professor of French at Oberlin College. Her research centers on French literature and culture of the First World War, the history of French journalism and popular culture, and theories of the novel. She lives in Oberlin, OH.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:304 pages, 9.25 × 6.13 × 1.06 inPublished:September 13, 2016Publisher:Yale University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:030021751X

ISBN - 13:9780300217513

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“A brilliant cultural history that shows why ordinary soldiers, faced with the carnage of the Great War, instinctively revived the tradition of the picaresque – the ordinary man’s journey through adversity – and why this marked French culture in particular.”—John Horne, Trinity College Dublin